There is always room for another annotated version of Little Women as seen by this beautiful version published by Penguin Classics. Featuring a modern cover that ought to appeal to younger readers, Little Women: 150th-Anniversary Annotated Edition is a physically appealing book; I was immediately attracted to it the moment I started thumbing through the pages.
This version of Little Women features the original text from 1868 and includes an extensive glossary which proves most helpful. There are excellent essays by Anne Boyd Rioux (author of Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters) covering themes and aspects of the book including the Civil War, growing up female, health and medicine, money and work, religion and morality, and women and authorship. Pertinent letters from Alcott family members are included along with illustrations from early versions of the book. Finally, there are suggestions for further exploration.
The foreward by Patti Smith is worth the price of admission alone, providing an outstanding overview of the book’s influence on her life. Finding a like mind and companionship in the rebellious writer Jo, she credits her as the greatest influence over her life’s work. She also credits the self-sacrificing Beth with teaching her about service to others.
There has been much talk about passing down the legacy of Little Women to those we love, believing it still to be a valuable guide to growing up. Little Women: 150th-Anniversary Annotated Edition is a great edition to give to our daughters, sons, nephews and nieces.
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